I, like every other Indian born in 80’s, grew up without any recollection of the year 1983, when India clinched their first ever Cricket World Cup . All I grew up was with the legends of that fateful day. My father’s narrations of the tournament, I never failed to notice the glint in his eyes while proudly saying” we were the under dogs and we beat the mighty West Indies!”. These little tales of pride and love for the game, which comes next if not above religion in India, would make me wonder if I will ever see a day like that in my own life, and if I did will it mean the same to me as it did to my father 28 years back.Well, we have our own piece of history today! We have our own tales to pass on to the next generation and there is no describing the emotions that are rampant on the mind of every Indian today.
In the year 2011, things were a little different in the world of cricket, team India was no longer the underdog, they were deemed the ‘favorites’. Isn’t that great, you say. Not really. They were labeled the favorites based on their formidable batting line up and their recent victories. Being the favorites put immense pressure on the team, which is notorious for succumbing under it. The favorites had their own problems to deal with, the challenges ahead of them included overcoming the knack for anxiety at testing times, improving the mediocre fielding, which was a feat in itself considering the aging players. They were at immense disadvantage due to their ailing bowling skills. When the matches started, we saw India’s legendary batting collapse for meager scores. I am a Debby Downer, u say? Well, I am just trying to say how amazing this tournament has been, how team India thrived despite all these odds. You almost shot the messenger, didn’t you?
This world cup’s journey has been culmination of many stories. All of them ending with triumph, the 28 year old wait came to an end, we forgave our team for all the tears and anger over loses over the past several years. The God of cricket got “proudest moment of his life”. A whole new chapter in the Indian cricket just started.
All this happened due to grit, perseverance, fearlessness and love these men showed to the game. No one deserves to win this cup more than these 11 men. They have earned this title in so many ways. They have united the whole nation, brought joy to many hearts across the globe, they have truly earned this respect and love. And it will always stay in our hearts and the memories of this day will never ever fade in our lives. This truly was a gentleman’s game.